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Dmitri Shostakovich

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Moscow Cheryomushki, Operetta in three acts and five scenes (1959), Op. 105
Work Notes
G Schirmer is the publisher of the work in the USA, Canada and Mexico only. Le Chant du Monde is the publisher of the work in France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Andorra, French speaking African countries.
Text Writer
Libretto by V. Massa and M. Chervinsky.
Dmitri Shostakovich Estate
Opera and Music Theatre
Year Composed
1 Hour 45 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
2 Sopranos, Mezzo Soprano, Tenor, 3 Baritones, Bass, singing actress, singing actor, 4 Sopranos, 3 Mezzo Sopranos, 2 Tenors, 2 Basses
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Programme Note
Dmitri Shostakovich Moscow Cheryomushki, Operetta in three acts and five scenes (1959), Op. 105
In late 1950s Moscow, a smart new block of apartments has been built and everyone is desperate to live there. Newly-weds Sasha and Masha, Lidochka Baburov with her friend Boris, an explosives expert and chauffeur Sergei and his crane-driving girlfriend Lyusya all dream of having a place of their own. While keys are withheld from their rightful owners, Lyusya lifts Boris and Lidochka up to their new home in her crane. And as Sasha and Masha host a house-warming party, government official Drebednyov, who illegally plans to knock two apartments into one for his ambitious new wife, comes bursting through the neighbouring wall. But the residents find away of exposing all the corruption and the wrong-doers are defeated, leaving everyone else to live happily ever after.
1. Overture – Prologue (Allegretto)
Act I
Scene 1 ‘Do not touch!’
2. Bubentsov and Choir of Excursionists (Moderato con moto)
3. Duet of Masha and Bubentsov (Allegretto)
4. Pantomime [Allegretto]
5. Boris’ Aria ‘I am Waiting ...’ (Andantino)
6. Boris’ Serenade (Allegretto)
7. Lidochka’s Song (Allegro non troppo)
8. A Drive through Moscow (Allegretto)
9. Duet of Vava and Drebnyov (Andantino – Allegro – Moderato – Allegro – Presto)
10. End of the Drive through Moscow (Allegretto molto)
Scene 2 ‘Who Has the Keys?’
11. Reunion of Tenants (Allegretto – Molto meno mosso)
12. Sergei’s Song about Marina Grove (Moderato – Allegro)
13. Baburov’s Song about ‘Tyoply [warm] Lane’ (Moderato)
14. Song about Cheryomushki (Allegretto)
15. Scene of Barabashkin with Tenants (Allegretto)
16. Boris’s Song (Andantino)
17. Scene of Drebednyov and Barabashkin with Tenants (Allegretto)
18. Finale of Act I ‘Song about Cheryomushki’ (Allegretto)
Act II
Interlude ‘Here are the Keys’
19. Barabashkin’s Couplets ‘How are You?’ (Allegretto – Presto)
Scene 3 ‘Aerial Descent’
20. Duet of Lidochka and Boris ‘Fine Fellow’ (Andante – Poco più mosso – Moderato
non troppo – Presto – Andante – Allegro molto)
21. Duet of Lyusya and Sergei ‘Love is a Ring’ (Moderato non troppo – Meno mosso)
22. Barabashkin’s and Drebednyov’s Couplets ‘Couplets about Reciprocity’ (Allegretto – Allegro)
23. Duet-Reminiscence of Lidochka and Boris (Moderato – Allegretto – Meno
mosso – Andante – Allegro tranquillo – Andante)
24. Scene ‘There is No Flat Forty-Eight’ (Lidochka, Baburov, Barabashkin, Drebednyov)
25. Song of Lyusya and the Construction Workers (Allegretto)
Scene 4 ‘An Alarming Knock at the Door’
26. Duet of Masha and Bubentsov ‘The Doorbell’ (Allegretto)
27. Polka with Kisses (Allegretto)
28. Song about Cheryomushki (Allegretto)
Interlude ‘In the Clouds’
29. Ballet (Andantino – Allegretto)
30. Apotheosis (Presto)
31. Finale of Act II (Moderato)
32. Entr’acte (Allegretto – Allegro)
33. Scene (Allegretto)
Scene 5 ‘The Magic Clock’
34. Lidochka’s Song ‘What Do I Care?’ (Moderato)
35. Waltz ‘Flowers’ (Allegretto)
36. Barabashkin’s Ditty (Allegretto)
37. Duet of Lidochka and Boris (Allegretto)
38. Sergei’s Ditty (Moderato non troppo)
39. Barabashkin’s Scene with the Masks (Allegretto – Presto)
40. Finale (Allegretto – Meno mosso. Maestoso – Presto)

Best of all were two Shostakovich theatre events....One was Francesca Zambello's production of Shostakovich's 1959 operetta-musical "Moskva: Cheryomushki," or "Cherry Tree Towers," which has long had a dull reputation but came to life here as a witty, goofy, even touching affair. The plot, mildly subversive in its mention of Communist Party corruption, follows the love lives of young Soviets who are scrambling for apartments in a horrible new high-rise. The score is infested with satires and self-quotations.
Alex Ross, The New Yorker,01/01/0001
A musical by Shostakovich? The colossal and inscrutable 20th-century composer who has come to epitomize the tragic plight of the artist compelled to play a public role in a totalitarian state?... That Shostakovich and his librettists got away with this degree of social satire while Nikita S. Khrushchev was in power is amazing.... The musical becomes an uplifting comic saga about the power common folk can exert when they band together in the collectivist spirit against officialdom. Shostakovich tucks some clever musical twists into his deceptively simple score of lilting waltzes and exuberant ensembles.
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times,01/01/0001
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